25 September 2002
APSLEY GEORGE BENET CHERRY-GARRARD (1886-1959)
The Worst Journey in the World, Antarctic 1910-1913. London, Bombay and Sydney: R.& R. Clark for Contstable & Co. Ltd, 1922. 2 volumes, 8° (223 x 145mm.). Half-titles. 48 plates (6 coloured, 10 folding panoramas) and 5 maps (4 folding). Original cloth-backed boards, paper labels on spines, replacement labels tipped in at front of each volume, dust-jackets (spines of dust-jackets torn with some loss).
A VERY FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION.
In 1910, hearing that Scott was planning a second Antarctic expedition Cherry-Garrard 'wrote to Dr. E.A. Wilson ... volunteering his services ... he was accepted by Scott on Wilson's recommendation ... and enlisted as assistant zoologist ... On the Depôt Journey to lay stores...as far as to One Ton Depôt 140 miles from base, [he] was warmly commended by Scott for his efficiency and unselfishness as a sledger and tent-mate ... Wilson chose Bowers and Cherry-Garrard ... as his companions for the Winter Journey in 1911 to the Emperor Penguin rookery at Cape Crozier, an exploit which is still without parallel in the annals of polar exploration. On their return five weeks later Scott described their journey as 'the hardest that has ever been made' -- a phrase which later suggested to Cherry-Garrard the title of his narrative of the fortunes of the whole expedition: The Worst Journey in the World ... He accompanied the polar party as far as the summit of the Beardmore Glacier whence he was sent back, because of his youth, with the first of the two supporting parties. Early in March 1912 he set out alone with dog-teams and a Russian dog-driver to speed the return of the polar party. Having reached One Ton Depôt on the night of the 3rd, the date approximately timed for their arrival, he was beset by a four day blizzard which prevented movement, but stayed on until there remained only just enough dog-food for return. Although his decision to return was the only possible one, he never ceased to reproach himself afterwards for not having attempted the impossible. He was a member of the search party eight months later which found the bodies of Scott, Wilson, and Bowers, who had died within eleven miles of One Ton Depot' (DNB). Conrad p.173; Rosove 71.A1 ('Uncommon. Dust-wrappers rare'); Spence 277. (2)
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